Recovery questions after acdf surgery

Welcome to HealthRcovered’s Neck Pain patient community. You can also read doctor approved Neck Pain Articles and watch the Neck Pain Video.
310 posts / 0 new
Last post
witchy24
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/06/2010 - 12:09pm
Post-op x23 days

I am 23 days post of of a 3 level C5-7 still feeling a little slow, can take shower fold clothes but tire very easily. I left my home for the first time on Friday and that was to ride to McDonalds with my husband (20days) other than just walking about 1/2 mile to 1 mile a day around my neighborhood. I have NO more pain in my arm BUT I am still having pain in my right shoulder. It is still painful to hold my head up for long periods of time about 1 hr and I am ready to lay down with my heating pad or ice pack. I see my dr on the 8th of Dec for my FIRST post op appt and am VERY curious to see what he thinks of my recovery. I am off all pain meds but still taking muscle relaxer (robaxin) which does nothing (I feel anyway). I dont see going back to work anytime soon...well not till I can turn my head and feel like I can hold it up LOL!!! I sure did not expect this after surgery I dont know what I thought but it wasnt this. It can become very depressing at first but things seem to be improving. I really just want to get to the dr so I can see what my next move is. Any comments will help !!!!!

Jennifer

advertisement
painfree at last
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/23/2010 - 1:55pm
To witchy24

I had a 2 level ACDF on Dec 6th .. was on Robaxin for severe muscle spasms and pain 10 days post surgery - did nothing for me and gave me insomnia. Called DR and got Valium which I take at night to sleep - works great to relax the shoulders and neck. Still have issues during the day but don't want to knock myself out during the day .. maybe you need to get something different than the Robaxin.

Mcc1441
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 10/26/2010 - 5:07am
Healing cannot be rushed

I'm coming up on 4 months post-op ACDF C6-7. I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot put a timeframe on my healing. I am in PT now and have been going for the past 7 weeks. I also see a massage therapist 1x/wk.

I still have pain at the base of my neck and like others, I have pain in my shoulder. No more numbness and I have increased strength but my right arm still about 30% weaker than right. Can't be on computer for more than half hour without increased pain and this has not improved at all.

Taking Ambien to sleep and still taking Valium and dilaudid for pain.

I'm a webmaster so being on computer is huge part of my job. I started working part-time but went back out on ful,-time disability due to increased pain and stress of expectation that I needed to return to full-time within certain timeframe. I use my iPad to check emails and keep up w personal things but have really limited my tech use.

Therapist said my problem is weakness and it will just take time to heal. I'm trying to focus on getting better, doing therapy and getting stronger and dealing w pain. I know adding work to the mix will destroy my recovery. Wondering how long doc will let me stay out since as we all know recovery is technically 4-6 weeks for most people. I have acknowledged I'm not like most people and it's confirmed that others have same issues as me so at least I feel better that I'm not alone.

I hope you guys have made process in your recovery and find some solace in knowing you are not alone.

Going to surgeon for follow up this Friday. My boss already to,d me they only want me to return when I can work FT and to focus on healing.

painfree at last
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/23/2010 - 1:55pm
Hi Mcc1441

Everyone heals in their own time and I think that you are doing right by making sure you are 100% or close to it before returning to normal life. I am only 5 weeks post 2 level ACDF and just started PT today. I had Spinal Cord Compression and Stenosis. I still have neck and shoulder pain some moments worse then others - severe pain is gone thank god! Right arm weakness and Range of Motion between 30 - 40 without pain. Dr said last week not clearing me to return to work untul next appt in March which I almost fell off my chair but she did say that if after 4-5 weeks of PT I feel that I can work and Therapist agrees then she will release me. So definitely partner with your DR and therapist and only you can know when it is the right time for you. I do not want to go thru this again myself so trying to do everything possible to ensure I am 100% before returning to full activity.

Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.

Mary

Mcc1441
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 10/26/2010 - 5:07am
Thanks for the encouragement

Painfree at last,

Thanks for the words of encouragement! So glad your severe pain is gone-that's a huge weight off your shoulders;-)

Good luck w/ PT. I love going & adding new exercises & feeling a sense of accomplishment. My doc told me bc I was doing my home exercises, he couldn't justify me going to PT so I didn't start going until about 2months post-surgery - I insisted on it.

The time off of work will fly by. Catch up on some good movies or books you wouldn't otherwise have had the time to watch/read. Best of luck to you in your recovery!

GreyEagle
GreyEagle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 07/05/2008 - 10:29am
Re: Everyone is so different

Yes, I am sure this is so true. I had a 3 lvl cervical laminectomy 2 yrs ago. Last May I had a 4 lvl lumbar laminectomy. Next I am to have a two level cervical discectomy/fusion with titanium plates and screws.

I've been on 7.5 mg oxycodone 3x a day, 15 mg morphine 2x a day and 300 mg gabapentin 2 of them 3x a day for two years now. The first two, esp the morphine do cause constipation. Its not as bad now as it was in the past for the most part.

It all started with arm pain in both my arms that would not go away. My cervical laminectomy did nothing to alleviate the pain. I am hoping the cervical discectomy/fusion helps. I am anticipating this in the next month or two.

I am on SSDI now, have diabetes and almost 59 yrs old.

Greyeagle

Aviatrix36440
Aviatrix36440's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 09/29/2009 - 10:35pm
Jennifer

Glad to see you are coming around, but thought I would toss.. C5-7... is a 2 level fusion, not 3. I'm the same! Smile

The first 1-2 months many people have problems...even up to 6 months. Fusion is not like when we brake our arms, the spine is more fussy!

Brenda

PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

frenchfri
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 01/13/2011 - 11:43pm
Similar Story

Had a 2 level ACDF C5-6 C6-7 on 12/9/2010. Had issues with excessive swelling and swallowing. Finally getting better took 5 day course of steroids 6 days post op. I use to tire very easily from a shower also. Now I am okay, just started to try and blow dry my hair instead of a wet pony tail. You are lucky that you can walk in neighborhood (NY is too cold and snowy). I just walk around my house and up and down the stairs. How did your post op go? At this point I can hold mu head up for most of the day. At times it gets tired and I lay back on the recliner. I only wear the soft collar when I am out, sore or in a car. Are you wearing a collar. I was told the same length of time you wear a collar it will take your muscle and neck to get use to not wearing it and feel stronger. I too do not have enough ROM in my neck to drive to work and work as a teacher for the day. I go back Wed. for a 6 week check. Hope I can go back to work the next day. I understand and go through the same depression.

frenchfri
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 01/13/2011 - 11:43pm
Similar Story

Had a 2 level ACDF C5-6 C6-7 on 12/9/2010. Had issues with excessive swelling and swallowing. Finally getting better took 5 day course of steroids 6 days post op. I use to tire very easily from a shower also. Now I am okay, just started to try and blow dry my hair instead of a wet pony tail. You are lucky that you can walk in neighborhood (NY is too cold and snowy). I just walk around my house and up and down the stairs. How did your post op go? At this point I can hold mu head up for most of the day. At times it gets tired and I lay back on the recliner. I only wear the soft collar when I am out, sore or in a car. Are you wearing a collar. I was told the same length of time you wear a collar it will take your muscle and neck to get use to not wearing it and feel stronger. I too do not have enough ROM in my neck to drive to work and work as a teacher for the day. I go back Wed. for a 6 week check. Hope I can go back to work the next day. I understand and go through the same depression.

painfree at last
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/23/2010 - 1:55pm
Hi frenchfri

I had the exact same surgery on 12/6 .. I went for a 1st month check up on 1/6 and got OK to start physical therapy but not OK to start work. First my NS said no work til my next appt in March and when she saw my face she said that if therapy goes well in a few weeks she may give me OK to return to work sooner. I was excited to start physical therapy but have to say sooo sore and get terrible pain in back of my neck by mid day everyday so then I knew I did not want to push going back too soon.. Did you start or do any PT yet? Go luck with your appt next week.

Mary

Pages

advertisement